Jesus is dead and disappeared. His followers are fearful and devastated; no one remembered Jesus’s promise to ascend. Death seems so final to us, until this moment, as we watch the resurrected Jesus interact with one of his followers. Resurrection changes everything; sorrow can turn to joy. Death is not the end, but a beautiful new beginning because of Christ. -Monica
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
[ John 20:11-18 ]
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
_ ( vs. 11-12) Yesterday we learned that Mary was accompanied by other disciples, who saw the empty grave and went away. But Mary stays at the tomb. Why? What does she see when she looks in the tomb that the other disciples did not see?
_ (vs. 14-16) When does Mary recognize Jesus?
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
_ (vs 17) Notice the emphasis in Jesus’s response regarding His relationships with the Father and His people. His father is our Father and He calls His followers His brothers. Why do you think He says this?
_Jesus gives Mary a mission to testify about her encounter with Him. As a first century woman, her testimony would not be very valuable in the Roman world. Yet, Jesus chooses to first appear to her. Why?
_ What does this passage teach us about Jesus?, Power?, His Spirit?, or our calling as believers?
PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_Am I listening for God to call me by name? Am I willing to obey?
_ Am I sharing the story of how Christ called me by name with others? Am I afraid to testify to His work in my life?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
_Do I know someone who needs to know that Jesus’ Father is their Father and Jesus’ God is their God? (vs. 17)